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The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience Hardcover – November, 1981


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. S. Holliday is former Executive Director of the California Historical Society and of the Oakland Museum of California and Associate Professor of History at California State University at San Francisco, he is also the author of rush for Riches: Gold Fever & the Making of California.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 559 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671255371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671255374
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4 star
21%
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See all 14 customer reviews
If you enjoy history, I highly recommend this book.
Sharki
This is a great book, written by a wonderful author who obviously was dedicated to painstaking research and authenticity.
edmaa26
See has read the first few chapters and enjoying much!
Ronald G. Raithel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Chambers HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on June 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My wife and I recently visited California for the first time. In a U.S. Forest Service bookstore, I saw this book. Since we planned to return to California and tour the Gold Rush areas, I bought the book. I made a good choice! The use of William Swain's actual diary and letters made me feel almost like I was there, the descriptions were so detailed and vivid. It was an incredible journey that tens of thousands of men, women, and children made across the west. Many of these people thought that they could simply pick up gold nuggets for a few days and be rich. In fact, gold mining was brutally hard work, and few of the 49ers ever got rich. The author does a fantastic job of describing the California Gold Rush in human terms.

If you only read one book about the California Gold Rush, "The World Rushed In" would be a great choice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan Phillips on June 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am a 4th generation Californian (and proud of it), whose great great grandfather came to California from Illinois in the 1840s for farming (with no other family members). In addition, I have been to many areas described in the book, not only in the Trinity Alps and foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California but in Nevada, northern Utah, Wyoming, the high plains east of Denver, and the jumping off places of St. Joseph and Independence, Missouri. Thus because of the detail presented in this book, it is more personal to me than many of the other books I have read about western US migrations.

The details of the Swain diary and letters and the research of the author to fill in details of the travels is outstanding and allows me in particular to reminisce about those parts of the mid west and west that I have actually been through and spent time in. For the average person traveling by car through the west, it is hard to understand or even remotely empathize with the people traveling to California in the 1800s. However, in my case, I have lived, hiked and camped in the deserts of Utah and Arizona so I can get a glimmering of what it truly was like 164 years ago; but only a glimmering because I had quite sufficient food, water and places to get out of the sun in my experiences.

Anyway, the author and editors did an excellent job with this book and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in any aspect of the westering experience in the mid 1800s, not just those interested in the California gold rush.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By edmaa26 on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book, written by a wonderful author who obviously was dedicated to painstaking research and authenticity. I recently saw J.S. Holiday on a TV show about the West, and then later was so sorry to hear of his passing in 2006. It may seem a bit obscure, but in some ways, Mr. Holiday's writing in this book reminded me of Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove" in the way it made me believe that what he wrote described how things really were back then. I highly recommend "The World Rushed In..." to all who are interested in Western U.S. history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sharki on November 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is one of my favorite books. In it are woven the gold rush journal of William Swain, seeking his fortune in California, with his correspondence to the wife he left behind. Among the illistrations are drawings by J. Goldsborough Bruff, who just happened to be on the trail, just days ahead of Swain. J. S. Holliday does a masterful job in letting the participants tell this amazing story of adventure. My copy is worn and the pages are falling out from use. If you enjoy history, I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chatham H. Forbes Sr. on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No other book takes you on the nineteenth century California Gold Rush experience as realistically, together with such good documentation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leroy Jackson on November 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good book -- great insight to a world shaking historical event -- will be read and re read for all it holds
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By Greta on December 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK I like weird stuff so a book of 1850 correspondence between a Gold miner and his family may not be everyones cup of tea. But if you are interested in where the miners mined; what "dry diggings" are or placer mining or what the prices or living conditions were in the camps this is well written. It just isn't something that flies off the shelf.
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